• Meet our Members

    Q&A with Ardis BartleArdis Bartle

    The owner and manager of Apex Measurement and Controls in Houston, Texas, Ardis Bartle possesses more than 20 years of natural gas measurement experience and expertise in identifying, profiling and executing marketing and sales opportunities for select customers. Bartle, currently serving as President of the ISA Houston Section, is a highly engaged and acclaimed ISA volunteer leader. In 2016, she was recognized as ISA Division Leader of the Year as well as ISA Process Measurement and Control Division (PMCD) Member of the Year.

    Could you provide some background on your education (degree/s received) and academic areas of emphasis?

    I have an MBA (master in business administration) degree from Southwest Texas State College in San Marcos, Texas. My education career wise has evolved from a focus on process control to SCADA to natural gas measurement. My experience in natural gas measurement has been helpful in facilitating the Control Systems Engineer (CSE) prep classes the ISA Houston Section offers on Wednesday nights before the Texas Professional Engineer (PE) exam. I am not an engineer, but I have background in orifice measurement, liquids measurement, and standards.

    What initially attracted you to the field of automation...and when was it? Was there any specific thing that triggered your interest? 

    I was attracted to automation from process control as my clients (oil and gas pipelines and gatherers) started moving to meet FERC 636 (The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Order 636 fundamentally altered the regulatory and operational environment of the natural gas industry.). When Enron changed the pipelines to true carriers and the government decided to stop regulating the transportation business, the SCADA automation and measurement automation was dramatically changed. All of sudden, audit trails and telemetry of various protocols changed the way automation was conducted, and delivery methods required gas pipeline professionals to think out of the box.

    Please tell us about your current career responsibilities (specific position, company) and background, and area of specialty in automation.

    I am the owner and manager of Apex Measurement and Controls, which specializes in providing measurement/automation expertise and consulting to the liquid and natural gas market. A challenge, according to American Gas Association (AGA), is that it takes more than 435 hours to train a natural gas technician. Automating measurement and properly executing the processes in accordance with standards (AGA, API, and GPA) present significant training challenges for companies. As a leader serving on both standards committees and schools for education and training, I continue to emphasize improving the technical capabilities of the next generation of professionals in the industry.

    How did you get involved in ISA and what is your current level/degree of involvement in ISA (leader positions, section involvement, etc.)?

    I got involved with ISA in 2009 when ISA’s Houston Section was looking for an education chair. John Campbell, the section president at the time, sent a request out. As Education chair, I have been committed to scheduling ISA training at various facilities throughout the Houston area. Today, I am the President of the Houston Section as well as a District VP-Elect.

    How would you say ISA has benefited you?

    The biggest impact ISA has had on me is developing my leadership skills. My leadership skills have been highly tuned at ISA. My experiences at ISA, particularly in working with other volunteer leaders, have provided me with an enhanced set of skills that I couldn’t have gained on the job. When I talk to engineering managers at our Houston offices, I explain to them if they will give me one of their engineers to serve on the board, we will make them leaders. When I was a new leader, I attended a lot of leader meetings and I was fortunate enough to receive excellent leader training. 

    As section president, I believe it’s important to recognize our volunteer leaders and members for their contributions and service. One way I’m doing this is through our Pin Program. Through it, our section can celebrate the service of our fellow ISA members. We provide commemorative pins that recognize our members along important intervals: 10 years, 15 years, 25 years, 40 years, and 50 years. In November of last year, we recognized 20 Houston Section members by awarding them service pins. The honorees took the opportunity to speak on what ISA has meant to them over the years.

    I believe the Pin Program has many benefits by:

    • Acknowledging the hard work and contributions of section members who have made a difference over such a long period
    • Demonstrating to our younger members how much value ISA places on its loyal members and the experience and talent they possess
    • Encouraging greater interaction, mentoring, and networking among all ages and types of ISA members

    Over the next five months, we’ll be honoring the remainder of our section members for their continuous service at recognition events.

    In 2016, you were named Division Leader of the Year and the PMCD Member of the Year. Could you describe or explain what these distinguished recognitions mean/have meant to you?

    I’m grateful and honored for these distinctions, and for being able to contribute to ISA over the last nine years. I would say our section’s contributions to the development and success of ISA’s Process Control and Safety Symposium have been particularly gratifying. In all, it’s a great feeling to be honored. It drives home to me why it is so important that we continue to recognize ISA members for their contributions to the Society and to the automation profession as a whole.